Content marketing – are you doing it? Every small business should be. It complements your SEO efforts and your social media activity, and it helps you to build strong, valuable relationships with your target demographic. It’s an opportunity to showcase your industry knowledge, establish yourself as a thought leader, and drive inbound traffic to your site.
If you’re new to content marketing and are wondering what it is and why you need it, check out these three fantastic beginner content marketing resources which are excellent places for newbies to start.
1. Content Marketing Institute
It goes without saying that CMI is the leading resource for content marketers. They have reams of info on the latest trends and best practices, but also a fabulous article called What Is Content Marketing? which is a wonderful place to start if you’re brand new to the concept and want to understand how valuable a content strategy is to your online presence.
Their How To Guides, found at the bottom of the page linked above, are a fantastic place to get started with formulating and implementing a content marketing strategy. They explain how to create a content plan, understand your audience, decipher the distribution channels you’ll use to get your content out into the world and, perhaps most importantly, how to measure the success of your strategy.
2. Neil Patel’s Content Marketing Made Simple
If you’re not already aware of the digital marketing guru that is Neil Patel, get to know him now. He has a smorgasbord of valuable information on his website but his step-by-step guide is a fantastic introduction to content marketing. He uses real online and offline examples of content marketing done right so that you can begin to think outside the box when it comes to formulating your own strategy.
In Neil’s mind, content marketing is all about storytelling. He shows you to take inspiration from the unlikeliest of places – such as comic books and soap operas – to tell your brand’s story. The article is a long read but a great one; it makes you realise that content marketing is actually pretty simple when you break the concept down.
3. HubSpot’s Content Marketing Planning Template
Once you’ve got to grips with the purpose of content marketing and understand the value it has to offer your business, it’s time to get stuck in. HubSpot have a free template for planning your content marketing strategy and it comes with a simple guide showing you how to use it. You have to throw a few of your details their way to access the download, but it’s worth it; the template is really easy to follow, particularly if you’re creating a content marketing strategy for the first time.
You begin with a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), then you define your content marketing objectives using SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) and KPIs (key performance indicators). Next, you identify gaps in your strategy and brainstorm ideas to fill them, before completing a content plan timeline. I know, I know – it sounds a bit like acronym overkill, but trust me; once you’ve read the guide and started the planning process, it all begins to make a bit more sense and it makes content marketing feel a tad less overwhelming.